Lift | Paper Doll Tales

Extrovert-me takes longer to wake up than introvert-me.  I’m fairly balanced, personality wise, between the extrovert and introvert, and while introvert-me looks at the dividing line between the two zones with some trepidation, extrovert-me has just enough will power to nudge over the line.

But extrovert-me requires coffee to amp up for the day.

So for the first 15-30 minutes of my morning, introvert-me reigns, and I enjoy all kinds of thinking and reading and writing and Instagram perusing and mellowing into the start of my day.

It’s at this time that Miss C wakes up and wants to be picked up.

She is a large, gangly, muscular, all-in-extrovert, four-year-old bundle of wanting to be picked up.

And introvert-me, awake alone for a stretch in the world, shies backward from the touch of those hands lifted upward and needfully toward me.

Sometimes she gets picked up, and sometimes she is disappointed, settling for the consolation prize of sitting on my lap while extrovert-me dares to peek an eye at the progress of my steeping tea.

My “lift me up” requests in life are often directed at places.  I expect travel to boost me upward, lift me higher, wrap me in encouraging, firm arms, so I can see more, do more, experience more.  Get beyond myself and ahead a little in the world.

Often travel picks me up on request.  I thrill at the sight of an untended Charleston graveyard path, dripping with ghost fumes and spirals of Spanish moss.  I crane my neck 90-degrees to take in the vault of a hoo-doo rock formation sculpted out of orange play dough rock at Bryce Canyon.  I marvel at the perfect sweetness of mango juice running down my chin as I obstinately consume (rather than throw away) my “flora and fauna contraband” before boarding my flight at the Maui airport.

But the things that lift me up sometimes ask me to settle for a snuggle on the lap.  The consolation prize of expectations not quite met.  The let down of return to real life.  It’s more deflation than lift when I eat the last pickle from the jar opened on vacation and remember with a sharp pain the group of people who had last dipped forks into the jar to fish out pickles for hamburgers.  It’s more deflation than lift when I scan the skies for towering thunderheads and find myself circling, hemmed in by buildings and trees and hills, unable run just one block to the wide open ocean vista I crave.

It’s okay to demand the lift, but it’s also okay to descend.  “What you learn today, for no reason at all, will help you discover all the wonderful secrets of tomorrow,” observes Norman Juster in The Phantom Tollbooth.

I’ll spend today unpacking the last of my sandy memories from the lift of our summer beach vacation.  I’ll recycle our pickle jar.  I’ll choose gratitude for the times I’m lifted up.  I’ll choose to float downward if I’m only offered a snuggle in the lap of memories.  There are wonderful secrets coming tomorrow, but I don’t have to wait in expectation to be lifted in the future.   There’s every reason to expect to learn a thing or two, for no reason at all, today.

This post is inspired by the 5-minute writing prompt with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday community.

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  1. Gabriele said:

    I really enjoyed reading your post. Good writing. I will take your spirit with me today as I head out on the road to visit my daughter, Right now it feels like a burden to finish packing but I am lifted by your enthusiasm.

    August 12, 2016
  2. Nancy said:

    Your writing and approach to life continue to lift me.

    August 12, 2016
  3. Emily Conrad said:

    Nicely said, Beth! And what a quote from Phantom Tollbooth! Travel is a lift for me, too, but our last trip involved the work of helping my sister move, so coming home was a relief, too. Lots of work this time. But, I’m looking forward to the lift of our next trip, and you’re right: we can learn and grow every day, wherever we are!

    August 12, 2016
  4. Jo said:

    Like Nancy, your writing lifts me up. You offer hope and vision in the “lift me up” AND the “deflation” cycles.

    August 12, 2016
  5. You had me hooked with the heading picture of Bryce.

    I start my morning with a lift, too…Bella The Miracle Dog quietly asks to be taken out at about 0530. She’s a little terrier whose back was broken, and was discarded in a water-filled ditch from which my wife rescued her.

    Her back was broken, but her spirit is intact…and so,amazingly, is much of her spinal cord. She is learning to walk again.

    #2 at FMF this week.

    August 13, 2016

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